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Corn Growers: Elevators Demanding Segregation

(5 October - Cropchoice News) -- A survey of over 1100 grain elevators in 9 states indicates that a large number of elevators are demanding or suggesting on-farm segregation. The study, conducted by the Farmer Choice-Customer First program of the American Corn Growers Foundation, concludes that the strong demand for on-farm segregation may lead to a continued downturn in GMO corn plantings by American farmers in 2001.

According to Foundation CEO Gary Goldberg, the numbers suggest to him that "It is very possible that the United States could see a bigger drop in GMO planted corn acres next year then the 20.4% drop exhibited this past year."

The numbers are as follows:

- 42% of elevators require or suggest on-farm segregation

- 31% are requiring or suggesting segregation at the elevator gate

- 22% of elevators are paying non-GMO premiums between 10 and 35 cents a bushel.

The elevators surveyed were located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio, Nebraska and South Dakota.

According to Dennis Mitchell, a South Dakota grower with ACGF, the strong demand for segregation from elevators should fuel second thoughts on GMOs from many farmers. Says Mitchell "…on-farm segregation will add additional costs to production agriculture, including a loss of efficiency and the expense of testing and certification. Couple this burden with the uncertainty of loss of markets, legal liability and corporate concentration, farmers will need to think long and hard before making their planting intentions for next year."

In related news, Farm Progress today published an article with tips for temporary on-farm storage. The article begins "Your bins are full. So is the elevator. What are your options for temporary storage that can work without too much investment?" If this sounds like your farm or area, visit the featured links page (or click here) to read up on some tips.

Source: ACGF, Farm Progress